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Toyota Aus creates 86 concept

Shot in the air: It's just concept at this stage, but Toyota's 86 Shooting Brake would offer fans a little more practicality if it makes it into production form.

Australian-designed Toyota 86 Shooting Brake takes shot at Mazda MX-5 RF


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6 May 2016

THE affordable purist sportscar battle continues to escalate with Toyota taking a shot across the Mazda MX-5's bow with a Shooting Brake Concept, that was styled at Toyota's Australian design house.

The curious concept adds a dose of practicality and some unorthodox styling to the popular two-plus-two, with an extended roofline that stretches the boot and rear hatch into a more fastback profile not unlike Honda's now discontinued CR-Z.

Toyota's local product design team penned the concept before sending the Shooting Brake final draft to Japan, where it was brought to life as a one-off functioning prototype by the global sportscar division.

With a modified roof variant of its affordable sportscar, it would appear the concept is in direct retaliation to Mazda's latest MX-5 RF variant, which offers a retractable hard top and altered profile, but for the Toyota to be a real threat, the Japanese car-maker would have to confirm a production version.

At this stage, there are no plans for a production version, but Toyota 86 global chief design engineer Tetsuya Tada said the car had undergone track testing and would love to see a showroom version.

“While we never say never, and I would love this concept to become a production reality, it is very much a concept that demonstrates the passion within Toyota for cars that are fun to drive,” he said.

Toyota Australia national marketing manager Brad Cramb said the production 86 was natural fit for a boot-boosted show car that adds a little practicality.

“The Toyota 86 lends itself perfectly to a concept that expands its appeal with added versatility while retaining its sleek and sporty coupe styling and sharp, responsive driving character,” he said.

“The Shooting Brake concept is a classy option for active couples or a second car for families who want something different. Equally suited to weekends away as well as the track, it's a car you could buy with your head and your heart.”

Toyota has not specified exactly how much extra boot space or height the concept liberates over the production 86's 391mm height, but says the Shooting Brake has “more rear headroom and cargo space, it also enables an owner to use roof racks to carry surfboards, bikes and storage pods”.

But 86 fans should not start writing deposit cheques just yet, because the Japanese manufacturer has previously teased a concept of the sportscar that generated significant interest but never transitioned from the drawing board to the showroom.

The topless 86 Open Concept that debuted at the Geneva motor show in 2013 looked near to production and would allow Toyota to compete directly with Mazda's rag-top MX-5, but to date, a production version has not materialised.

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